MASON CITY, Iowa - The Iowa Department of Public Health is now saying if you and the person who has COVID both are wearing masks, you won't have to spend half a month in quarantine. It's a decision designed to make life easier for our local schools.
"A common frustration that was expressed to me was around the guidelines for quarantining students and teachers who have been in contact with positive cases," said Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in her press conference on Tuesday morning.
It's a policy change one school district is in favor of.
Dave Versteeg, Superintendent of Mason City Community School District said "We believe the new quarantine guidance will reduce the number of students and staff being quarantined for exposure. With the district beginning to increase its in-person learning on October 5th, today's new guidance reduces the need to be as concerned with social distancing as we would have been with the previous guidance."
Dr. Charity Baker says the move makes sense.
"A lot of students were missing school on account of maybe being exposed to somebody, while they were wearing a mask. I say if the masks work like the scientists say, then everyone needs to stay in school and stay at work," said Dr. Baker.
In her experience working with patients, Dr. Baker says she's been able to stay healthy, thanks to proper protective gear.
"All of our patients are required to wear them and I wear PPE both a mask and a shield at every visit. So, I've had innumerable encounters with people with COVID," she said.
Dr. Baker notes it is important for people who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 to still isolate themselves to prevent the spread of the virus.
"It makes sense that we stay home when we're sick. But otherwise we stay at work and we stay at school and we stay productive."